Washington Post

Inside the world of flavorists, who try to make plant-based meat taste like the real thing

Marie Wright, vice president and chief global flavorist at Archer Daniels Midland, creates a black truffle flavor to be used in an aioli at ADM's Cranbury, New Jersey, lab. Foto: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

CRANBURY, N.J. - Marie Wright dips four long strips of paper, the kind you'd sniff a perfume sample from Sephora, into bottles of clear liquid marked Methyl Cinnamate, Ethyl Butyrate, y-decalactone and Furaneol. She holds the four strips together and wafts them, fanlike, under her nose. Suddenly, the lab smells of strawberries.

Wright is the vice president and chief global flavorist for Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world's largest food processors and suppliers. She's a former perfume industry chemist who has created more than 1,000 individual flavors for major food and beverage companies, and she's now facing one of the biggest challenges of her career...

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